“But refuse profane and old wives fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” 1 Timothy 4.7,8
The context of these passages this morning is: things that we are to be aware of in the last days. In particular, the Judaizers were attempting to turn the gospel of the grace of God into a mixture of eating and drinking according to the Mosaic Law. To offset the legalistic and false gospel that was being promoted by the Judaizers, Paul exhorts pastor Timothy to remind the people of God to hold on to the truth of the Word of God, and exercise themselves unto godliness. Though in many ways different, I suggest to you that there is much more than can be drawn from this principle of exercising yourself unto godliness and the days that you and I live in.
We are living in a day where eating and physical fitness is a craze. For some, eating and physical fitness has become an obsession in their life. No pun intended, but they eat, drink and talk about food and exercise. Now eating well and exercise is a good thing. But even good things taken to extremes become bad. When Jesus drew the line in the sand about being His disciple in Luke 14.25-35, it is crystal clear that there is no room for a rival to Him in our hearts. Our number one priority in life on earth as a follower of The Lord Jesus Christ is to be spiritually fit and bring Him glory.
Spiritual fitness requires the same intentional devotion and discipline as does eating and physical exercise. To be physically healthy and fit, people make the time and take the time to do some research to find out what is and isn’t good for you. They take the time to go to the gym or run or ride a bike. Spiritual fitness requires the same degree of commitment. I contend that any obsession other than Jesus is a serious matter in the life of the child of God. Anything or anyone (including ourselves) that gets between Jesus being king of my heart is not good.
Would I be wrong in saying that I believe that our hunger and desire for The Lord and the things of The Lord should AT LEAST be as important, and exciting as any other hobby or interest or craze? Dearly beloved, I urge you today to prayerfully examine your what your life here on earth is all about, and with those priorities in mind, exercise yourself unto godliness and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Remember, only godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Selah.